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Trading when you cannot trade: Blackout periods in Italian firms

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  • Barbara, Petracci

Abstract

This paper is part of the general debate concerning corporate governance. It focuses on a mechanism of self-regulation geared at avoiding market abuses: the use of blackout periods during which insiders are temporarily prohibited from trading on the market. Data concerning corporate characteristics, blackout periods, and internal dealing, seem to indicate that companies with a large number of independent directors and a consistent ability to monitor are more likely to adopt blackout periods. However, the research shows that during 2003 insiders did not comply with Italy's Code of Best Practice; they did not totally refrain from trading during the assigned blackout periods. All three variables measuring frequency trading â the numbers of transactions carried out, of active insiders, and of shares traded â were statistically significant during the specified blackout periods. Therefore, this paper could have practical implications for policy makers. If they decide to adopt self-regulation to fight market abuses, they must be aware that a law is only as effective as its enforcement.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbara, Petracci, 2011. "Trading when you cannot trade: Blackout periods in Italian firms," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 196-204, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:31:y:2011:i:3:p:196-204
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